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A creative twist on Chanukah giving

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/giving/article/a_creative_twist_on_chanukah_giving_20101112

When I walked into our local Kmart the night after Labor Day, Christmas music already beckoned shoppers to do what they do best during the great white winter holiday: consume. Traditional Christians probably decry the way in which the focus of their holy day has shifted away from their Messiah toward consumerism. Jewish folks decry this as well (and certainly this Jewish folk does) because it pressures us to celebrate our less significant winter holiday, Chanukah, in a similar way. The irony couldn’t be more striking. Chanukah is the holiday that celebrates Jewish distinctiveness over assimilation. The Maccabees — zealots to some, freedom fighters to others — fought to preserve a sense of Jewish distinctiveness in the face of the Assyrian Greeks and other Jews who were attracted to their ways.

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